In the sixth round of renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which happened between January 23rd and 29th in Montreal, Canada, the importance of the pharmaceutical industry and how to promote it was discussed for the first time, with the purpose of elaborating a Sectoral Annex of pharmacists, chemists and cosmetics.
‘This round was a step forward, but we are progressing very slowly’ US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said at a press conference held at the end of the summit.
Objectives of the negotiation
Mexico seeks to integrate productive chains for medicines manufactured in Mexican soil, using supplies from Canada and the United States. Thus, production costs and sale prices of finished products will be reduced, according to Guillermo Funes Rodríguez, president of the Mexican National Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (Cámara Nacional de la Industria Farmacéutica – Canifarma).
Currently, Mexico imports the drug-chemical material to produce medicines, but its transportation across borders is complicated because they are considered products that can be used for illicit purposes, such as illicit drug production. Therefore, the United States demanded greater agility in the entry of pharmaceutical products to the North American countries and to make the registers more transparent, even with the use of new technologies.
From February 26th to March 6th, Mexico City will be the meeting point for the NAFTA negotiators to continue with the discussion of pharmaceutical issues on the eve of the conclusion of the renegotiations during this year.